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Dog Care Advice Straight From The Experts

Perfection is in the eye of the beholder. Whether or not you’ve made mistakes with your dog doesn’t matter as long as you have always provided them with love. That said, read on to find out more about tips and tricks regarding your dog and how to avoid some mistakes others have made.

Be careful with your dog around Christmas season, many dangers are lurking just under the festive ambiance. For instance, electrical chords are typically strewn about during the holidays, and dogs often chew them, creating an electrical hazard. Dogs may be tempted to eat the decorations on the tree. They may also be tempted by the tree water, which can be toxic.

If you are in the market for a new puppy, make sure you will have enough time to devote to his training. On average, you need to take a young dog outside to do his business eight times a day and that can take a lot away from your schedule. Training takes more time and patience than most people realize.

Avoid impersonating a medical professional when it comes to your dog’s health. In an attempt to save money, many people try to diagnose their pet’s conditions or use human treatments on various elements and that can be very dangerous to the animal. If you can’t afford full vet care, tell that to the doctor and ask their advice anyway or if they could arrange a payment plan for you.

When the dog does something right, be sure to lavish praise on him or her. This communicates to your dog that he is doing just exactly what you want. Your dog will quickly understand that the praise is connected to a certain action.

Pet-proof your home before bringing a dog into it, just as you would for a crawling toddler. You need to move anything toxic to a higher shelf and consider the danger that plants may pose if nibbled by your dog. Remember that anti-freeze is deadly and that leaving things like pennies or crayons on floors can pose a choking hazard to curious pups.

Never leave your dog home alone for more than a few hours each day. For example, if you are planning on being away from home for a few days, you should find a place to house them where they can get regular care. Dogs can become anxious when left alone for extended times, so consider their feelings and provide them with the care that they need.

Do not buy the cheapest dog food you can find. Long-term, the dog will do much better with nutritious, good quality food. Though better brands cost more, it is worth it to know your dog is receiving the nutrients it needs.

If training has become routine and boring with your dog, consider introducing agility exercises into the mix. These will still teach your dog to obey and be challenging, but they tend to be a lot more fun than the regular commands. Get the whole family involved by making an obstacle course and working the dog through it frequently.

It is essential that you get your dog vaccinated. Vaccinations will protect your dog from different types of illness and diseases. Most vaccinations are done at your dogs yearly check-up. Your vet can explain what each vaccination is for. The rabies vaccine is required by law in many different states.

If you have a smaller breed dog, make sure everyone who touches him knows the proper way to hold him. Small dogs can be easily injured by inappropriate handling and many owners find this out the hard way. Gently lift at the belly from under his front legs and secure him with both hands.

If you’re eating a snack, you sometimes will feel like it’s a good idea to share with your dog. Keep in mind that some foods are unhealthy for dogs. Your should not give your dog grapes, caffeine, or chocolate, for instance. These can be fatal if ingested.

If you live with other people, make sure they are aware of your training “rules.” It is important that everyone redirects the dog off of the furniture, for example, and that they use the same language when doing so. If everyone’s rules are different, your dog is just going to get confused, which will make the training process much longer and more difficult.

Be a firm person towards your pet. Most dog owners think that letting it slide “this time” is okay, even for a major rules infraction. Regardless of how they look, you will need to stand firm. Be firm with your dog if you want to prevent behavior issues. Don’t feed him scraps, let him destroy something of yours or piddle on the floor.

To discourage your dog from chewing everything in the house, combine equal parts of water, white vinegar and apple-cider vinegar in a spray bottle. Gently mist things like shoes and umbrella handles and this should repel your dog. If not, dab a little minty muscle ointment on the things he’s prone to chomping and that should work for sure.

You need to invest in a quality collar and ID tag with your address on it. Choose a robust collar that is adapted to the size of your dog. You should be able to easily fit two fingers inside the collar. Do not forget to update the ID tag if you get a new phone number.

Make sure that you’re feeding your dog a good quality food. Most dog foods available at your grocery store are mainly made up of grains or corn. Instead of this, you should try to find a dog food that is mostly made of meat. Foods that are high quality can provide you with many benefits, such as having a healthy pup, less vet visits, and your dog’s coat will shine more.

It is important that you give your dog plenty of exercise. Doing so will promote a healthy lifestyle for your dog and you. This is especially the case if the dog in question is very energetic. If you give your dog sufficient exercise, it is less likely he or she will cause problems inside the home.

There are many things to consider when planning excellent canine care. Dogs require more than just food and walks. Knowing how to care properly for your dog is important. By doing so, you and your dog can spend many years together.

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Best Advice for Dogs with Skin Issues

I still need to publish a real post about Mr. Stix’s full backstory, but this feels more pressing. For nearly 18 months, Mr. Stix’s permanent nakey spot (from unknown injuries before he was rescued, including 15 fractures and this big patch of coat missing) has featured several inflamed, peeling areas. Initially I tried to fix it myself at home with things like aloe vera, vaseline, a veterinary ointment called animax that the shelter had give us while we fostered him most of 2019, etc. It’s sort of a combination of steroids, antibacterial, and antifungal stuff. I took him to see our main veterinarian in spring 2020, when there was a 2-month wait to get into see a board-certified veterinary dermatologist. It has been quite a journey since then, and it’s nowhere near over. Here’s my best advice for dogs with skin issues.

Before I tell the ongoing saga with Mr. Stix’s skin. Here is my best advice for dogs with skin problems.

See a board-certified veterinary dermatologist as soon as you can. Yes, your main veterinarian can probably help, but it’s honestly best to go right to the top experts.

Agree to whatever skin scrapings / cytology the veterinary dermatologist recommends. This provides information about what types of secondary infections currently grow on your dog’s damaged skin.

Do NOT assume every skin issue is allergies. It often is some sort of allergic process, but NOT always and assuming so (and acting accordingly may only delay real solutions and subject your dog to all kinds of quack advice and home remedies).

Buy the best quality fish oil and Vitamin E supplements you can afford, if it’s recommended for your particular case of a dog with skin issues.

When necessary, agree to the skin biopsies (yes, like minor surgery) and have them reviewed by a veterinary pathologist that specializes in dogs with skin issues. The one we used is at Texas A&M.

Follow your veterinary dermatologist’s advice and plans, and keep the faith. These dogs with skin problems often don’t improve quickly. (I need to take my own advise. See below.)

Mr. Stix’s Story as a Dog with Skin Problems

This is what Mr. Stix’s nakey spot looks like when it’s normal. Photo from May 2019 soon after his hip surgery. The bald patch is permanent. That’s not the issue.

This is how bad the red / peeling areas got in mid-2020 when we saw our main veterinarian, who added a low-dose of oral Vitamin E and some topical too and told me to keep using the animax.

This is how it looked when Mr. Stix first saw the board-certified veterinary dermatologist in early August 2020, but the specialist had me STOP the animax and instead use a prescription anti-bacterial ointment (mupirocin) … as well as add a better quality oral fish oil and continue both topical and oral Vitamin E (but at a higher dose twice a day). We knew from the skin scrapings / cytology they did onsite that Mr. Stix had a bacterial infection.

But, without the daily topical steroids (which long term are a bad idea), Mr. Stix’s skin got much, much worse — even breaking open and scabbing over.

Our veterinary dermatologist had recommended doing the skin biopsies right away in August 2020, and I *almost agreed to it then, but I was VERY worried about the cuts resulting in skin that would NOT heal. And, I figured it was at least worth a try to use the prescription antibiotic ointment and other supplements and stuff.

But, by around Thanksgiving, it was clear we had to do the biopsy. That photo is kind of gruesome, so you can see it here, if you want. I wish I had done the biopsy sooner. I feel like I wasted time from August through November.

Post-Biopsy Diagnosis

As I expected, despite all the know-it-alls trying to tell me it was an allergic issue, it turns out that Mr. Stix instead has an autoimmune condition called erythema multiforme. They believe it was triggered by the trauma of his earlier injuries. They don’t think it is life-threatening. They don’t think it will spread to other areas of his skin. Just the already damaged, permanent nakey spot.

With that information in hand, we updated the treatment plan to include a topical, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory ointment (tacrolimus — often pricey, but we used a Good RX coupon at Costco to get the cost down). They use a version of this medication orally for people who have had various kinds of transplants. It’s the smallest / safest option for treatment, and that’s where we started.

I was so hopeful it would work at the once-daily application, but the skin still didn’t heal completely.

So, in early 2021, we started applying it twice daily on the advice of our veterinary dermatologist.

But, it still hasn’t healed completely. It often improves a lot and then comes roaring back, so we had another appointment to see the specialist last week. We had to try something new.

Enter the Big Immune-Suppressing Drug

Despite my concerns and form of veterinary PTSD about major immune suppression drugs (after our experiences with Lilly), I agreed last week to add oral cyclosporine, which is also a drug that people get after various transplants. Mr. Stix would need to take it daily for life.

It smells like it’s made from skunk butts, so each gel-cap pill is individually packaged, and you keep them in the freezer because that can help with nausea it can cause (since it’s recommended you give on an empty stomach).

I found some good info on this med, and our veterinary dermatologist assured me that it has been safely used in veterinary medicine for like 20+ years, etc.

The med only comes in doses of 25 mg, 50 mg, and 100 mg, and at his size Mr. Stix’s ideal dose is around 88 mg once a day. So we went with 75 mg (25+50) to err on the lower side.

It takes like 3-7 days for the med to build up in the blood to therapeutic levels, but it takes more like 4-6 weeks to know if it’s going to help the skin (or not).

We made it to day 4, then the barfing started.

Anxiety

I wish I could say that this is all going to be fine, but I just don’t know. I feel like I just have to accept that the skin will never fully heal, even though seeing his raw spots up close while applying the topical med twice a day and topical Vitamin E once a day causes me so much angst and anxiety.

I supposed to check in with our veterinary dermatology team next week to confirm that Mr. Stix’s weirdness and apparent suffering has improved.

It took a lot of convincing to get Mr. Champion of My Heart to agree to try the cyclosporine, so even if the specialist comes back and recommends maybe a lower dose, I doubt we’ll want to risk it … because Mr. Stix sure seemed to be having some neurologist issues to me, and after the Lilly situation, I just cannot do that again.

He is only 3 years old. I don’t want to make anything worse. It honestly felt like I’d poisoned him.

The good news is that most of the time his skin doesn’t seem to hurt or itch or anything — though I do have pain meds, if he needs them. It mostly just looks bad, and he has to wear a no-lick collar for about 20 minutes after I apply his meds so that he doesn’t lick it off.

His nakey spot is prone to sunburn anyway, and the topical tacrolimus increases the risk of burning, so I used his earlier sun-reflecting coat (which started to look ragged) as a pattern and sewed him a new / light sun protection coat. He looks very cute in it.

https://championofmyheart.com/2021/08/05/dogs-with-skin-issues/

Helping You Figure Out Dogs With These Easy Tips

Have you thought about become a dog owner? Does a dog live with you? If so, the information in the article below is just right for you. Should you loved this information and you would like to receive more details about do wild rabbits eat succulents assure visit our own website. There are techniques here that’ll help with your dog ownership for many years.

Groom your dog regularly. A dog requires constant grooming to keep his coat in tip top condition. Make sure that your dog is completely relaxed before you start the grooming session; this is especially important if he is excitable. Keep the session quite short (5 to 10 minutes at most) until he is comfortable with the idea of being groomed. Most importantly – be sure to praise him and offer a treat after a successful grooming session!

Never bring your dog with you while flying during the hot summer months, unless the airline provides a climate-controlled cabin for him. Most of the major carriers use the same area for pets as they do for cargo, meaning your dog will have to endure some pretty high temperatures as you travel to your destination, jeopardizing his safety.

Hot summer days are harder for dogs to handle than humans. Always make sure your pet has enough water to drink. Provide them with a shaded area to rest if they are going to be outside for any length of time. And, if your dog begins acting in an unusual manner, call the veterinarian. Heatstroke could be fatal, so it is important to get medical care as soon as possible.

Dogs need a great deal of attention on a daily basis. If you have a hard time making time for your dog you will soon notice that there are behavioral problems that were not there before. In the least, you should try to set aside an hour each day just to love your dog.

Dog training should be take place out in the yard, or even inside your home. It is not a good idea to train them in areas where a lot of people are present. Your dog may have trouble paying attention, and even the simplest commands could go right over their head.

Make your own dog biscuits to provide your beloved canine with the healthiest treats. Most commercial products are over-loaded with chemicals that aren’t good for dogs, despite adding flavor and aroma. Use quality ingredients and tell your dog what you’re doing in the kitchen! Get him all excited and let him taste-test as soon as they’re cool.

If you’re on a tight budget at home, think carefully before getting a dog. They actually cost hundreds of dollars annually, but many people don’t realize this until they’ve actually forked over the money. Depending on the size and regular maintenance requirements of your new dog, you could be getting in way over your head and forced to part with him later so make sure beforehand.

Your dog’s claws must be trimmed. When they start curling under, the dog runs the risk of experiencing pain. These can be trimmed at home if you use nail clippers from the store. If you don’t feel comfortable trimming them yourself, a groomer can do it for little money.

Dogs love to eat grass and other plants. When you’re outside, this may not be much of a problem, but if you maintain houseplants indoors, chances are they are poisonous to dogs. Before bringing a dog into the home, make sure all your houseplants are well out of reach of a dog who may be tempted by a green tasty treat.

You need to invest in a quality collar and ID tag with your address on it. Choose a robust collar that is adapted to the size of your dog. You should be able to easily fit two fingers inside the collar. Do not forget to update the ID tag if you get a new phone number.

Never leave your dog home alone for more than a few hours each day. For example, if you are planning on being away from home for a few days, you should find a place to house them where they can get regular care. Dogs can become anxious when left alone for extended times, so consider their feelings and provide them with the care that they need.

To make your dog happy and increase the bond between you, try learning how to give him a massage! It’s been shown in recent studies that structured massages are highly beneficial to a dog’s health and can improve their overall well-being. This activity can also be very relaxing for you as well.

Do not rely on a cold, wet nose to judge your dog’s health. There are many reasons for your dog’s nose to be cold and wet even if the dog is sick. Pay attention to the amount of energy, type of appetite and the dog’s demeanor. These can be great ways to know how your dog’s health is. A rectal thermometer can be used on the dog to do a temperature check.

Pick up your dog’s messes when you’re out in public. There are still some dog owners who take their dogs on walks and don’t bother to “poop scoop”. This is not a wise thing to do for a number of reasons. Be a responsible dog owner and carry a little bag and scooper if necessary, so that you can properly dispose of the waste. Non-owners will thank you.

If you are trying to teach your dog some basic commands, one of your first ones should be a recall. Everyone wants their dog to return to them when called for. If you have a solid recall for your dog, you will not have to worry about chasing your dog down it manages to get outside. It should come back to you when you use your recall word.

You need to exercise some extra caution with your dog during the hottest months of the year. It is easy for a dog to become overheated, and this can cause health problems. Reserve a cool and shady area for your dog to hang out. You need to ensure your dog has some cold and clean water. You can also get doggie sunscreen to help keep your pet out of harm’s way.

You should check your dog regularly to make sure that he does not have any ticks or fleas on him. There are combs you can purchase that can be used to help you locate them. To prevent fleas and ticks, you can purchase special collars from the pet supply store.

Dogs of all shapes and sizes make for amazing pets, and a great owner takes the time to learn all about their care. You have done just that, so use the tips you have read here to get down to business. A few simple changes or lessons can really make your dog the happiest he can be.

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